A Message From The Chair

We have inducted the Class of 2016 in November this year.

Since the class of 1963, a total of 252 marathon swimming inductees from around the world have received the ultimate marathon swimming recognition. They have been immortalized with their names inscribed on the IMSHOF Sea Goddess, our 'symbol of the sea'.
Our website has the details of the 252 Inductees' achievements. Pay our website a visit at  www.imshof.org.
2017 sees the IMSHOF Induction Ceremony return to England where it all started. When Captain Matthew Webb RN conquered the English Channel in 1875 nobody would have thought such a worldwide movement of marathon swimming would be born and where ethics and morals are paramount in pursuit of a successful marathon.
I look forward to seeing you on 22nd April 2017 at our Induction Ceremony. The next day we will have the IMSHOF Congress. Both events will be held at  The Chapel on Beaumont Estate, Old Windsor. This impressive venue is just 9 miles from London Heathrow. Details of the weekend's events are below in this newsletter and on our website
I hope 2017 will be a terrific year for all of us.
Chris Guesdon

2017 Induction Ceremony Celebration

2017 IMSHOF Induction Ceremony
 Saturday, 22nd April 2017
Windsor, UK.
GBP 60.00 Per Ticket

David Barra, USA
Honor Swimmer

In 2010, David Barra set the gold standard for a marathon swimming year:  Maui, Tampa Bay, Manhattan, Catalina, Boston Light, English Channel, and then Ederle -  More than 200k of epic marathon swimming.  

This earned him one of his early honors:  "The Barra Award".  It is presented annually by the Marathon Swimmers Federation to the swimmer with the most impressive year of marathon swimming.  It gave further weight to David's favorite saying -   "Anything worth doing is worth overdoing".

He continues to swim marathons including S.C.A.R., Around Jersey, Lac St. Jean, Provincetown to Plymouth, in Search of Memphre, Keuka Lake, 61 km Cayuga Lake and Around Cape May.   

David also gives back to the sport.  He started the 8 Bridges Hudson River Swim.  This 193 km, 7 day, staged swim is one of the toughest weeks in the sport.  Barra was also part of the team which restarted Around Manhattan as the 20 Bridges Swim.  It certainly pleased many aspiring Triple Crown swimmers stuck on two legs.   As part of history, Barra was an an observer on Chloë McCardel's world record swim to Nassau.

Read More About David Barra
Tamara Bruce, AUS
Honor Swimmer

Tamara Bruce started her competitive marathon career at an early age.  She started with the 30k International Sydney Harbour Marathon in 1991.   

Tamara, at 14 years old, took 12th overall and 5th female.  The next year Tamara, swam the first of ten Rottnest swims beating 1991 World Champion Shelly Taylor Smith and winning the event overall with a the fastest ever crossing with a time of 4hours and 13minutes.    She also competed in 1993 - 1997 and 2001 - 2004 with numerous female wins and recorded a time of 4 hours and 10 minutes which still stands as the fastest female solo crossing.

In 1992, Tamara completed the Magnetic Island Swim. She finished 2nd at the Australian Open Water 25k Championships and finished 3rd in 1994.   Tamara highlight came on September 2nd 1994 in the English Channel.  She recorded the 2nd fastest all time swim of 7 hours and 53 minutes.
In 1995, Tamara and her Australian team won the 25km gold medal at the Pan Pacific Championships in Atlanta.

She continues as a coach with the Australian team, as coach/handler at 2000 FINA World Championships Hawaii and then as Australian Open Water Team Manager for 2001 World Championships in Fukuoka.

Read More About Tamara Bruce
David O'Brien, AUS
Honor Swimmer

David O'Brien was the dominant Australian male marathon swimmer of his generation.
His domestic wins in races around the country included:  The 20km Rottnest Island Marathon Swim four consecutive times from 1992-1995 including the fastest crossing record in 1992.


David was also the Australian Champion in Marathon Swimming in the following events:

  • Australian Champion SLSA Surf Belt Championship 1988
  • Australian Marathon 15km Swim in 1989
  • Australian Champion for the 25km swim in 1990 - 1994
  • Australian Champion for the 10km swim in 1992 - 1994
David also completed internationally maintaining a top 10 FINA World Ranking 1991-1995.   His international wins included:
  • Capri to Naples Marathon Swim in 1991  Gold Medalist
  • USA Men's 15km in Fort Lauderdale in 1991 - Gold Medalist
  • FINA World Open Water Championship in Rome in 1994 - Gold Medalist   
  • Pan Pacific Championships in Atlanta in 1995 - Gold Medalist
  • FINA World Open Water Championship - Bronze Medal in the 25km Open Water Swim in Perth in 1991.
He represented Australia in three different disciplines:
  1. Pool Swimming 1985
  2. Surf Lifesaving 1989
  3. Open Water Marathon Swimming 1991-1995
David was awarded the prestigious ASM - Australian Sports Medal in 2000

Learn More About David O'Brien
Stephen Redmond, IRL
Honor Swimmer

The concept of the "bucket list" is increasingly catching the interest of marathon swimmers. For many it is simply the English Channel. For others it is the Triple Crown. 

The OCEANS SEVEN takes it to a much different level.  Stephen Redmond was the first swimmer to complete the challenge, in his 40s, between August 2009 and July 2012:  English Channel in 20 hours and one-minute, North Channel in 17 hours and 17 minutes, Strait of Gibraltar, Catalina Channel,  Cook Strait,  Molokai Channel in 22 hours and 29 minutes and Tsugaru Channel.
This former rugby prop with the famous London Irish team, Stephen was never going to be the fastest swimmer.  His determination to complete the challenge and be the first in the world drove him to new level of performance.  The journey included four serious setbacks.  Conditions won on his first attempt of the Molokai Channel and his first three attempts of the Tsugaru Channel.
The quest for internation glory accomplished, Stephen turned his sights to the seemingly impossible swim close to home.   Soon after returning from Japan he completed a swim in Cork Ireland from Baltimore around the Fastnet Rock and into Schull (24 mile/39 km). Look on Google Earth at this exposed location, factor in the next landfall to the East being New York, think about the six hour tidal patterns and imagine that Stephen's motivation was still in place after the Ocean's Seven!
David Yudovin, Honour Swimmer in both the IMSHOF and ISHOF, liked to be the first ever to complete a new swim. He said this could never be taken away - but being the fastest would only last a little while.   The record has been established.  Stephen Redmond from Cork Ireland was, and always will be, the first to have completed the OCEANS SEVEN CHALLENGE. 

Learn More About Stephen Redmond
Richard Broer, NED
Honor Contributor

Richard Broer played a major role in developing open water swimming for the last twenty years including the role as Chairperson of the Technical Open Water Committee of Royal Netherlands Swimming Association .

 H e is responsible for the yearly open water publication with all (association) events nationally, an extensive brochure on the ins and outs of open waters swimming nationally.   Richard brought the sport in the Netherlands to the web in 1998 with   www.noww.nl  which further promotes the events and the sport in general.  

One indicator of the success of open water (including marathon) swimming in the Netherlands are the double Dutch marathon winners in Rio.

His other internet initiative www.openwaterswimming.eu is a website for the European area. It concentrates on the event calendar for Europe. It is a proven instrument in attracting vacationing swimmers to swims in their holiday destination.
Broer coaches: 20 IJsselmeer relays and a solo winner plus a 100% record for seven English Channel relays including two world records.

Richard is also an accomplished swimmer - continuing today: 1 978 record Netherlands national competition victory and 1500m swim in under 16 minutes. He completed several solo marathons including Gibraltar Straits, Flanders Marathon twice and the IJsselmeer 3 times.

Learn more about Richard Broer
Colin Hill, GBR
Honor Contributor

Colin Hill changed open water swimming in Great Britain.  

He inspired a mass participation open water swim which became the Great Swim Series .

The tens of thousands competitive 1 mile swims spawned a generation of new marathon swimmers.  This provide a massive publicity boost for the sport.

Colin then led as the Marathon Swimming Technical Operations Manager for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games at the 2012 London Olympic Games. The Olympic 10K Marathon Swim, in the Serpentine, in the middle of a London Park, showcased the sport of open water marathon swimming to a new generation.

After his Olympic success, Hill set up the Big Chill Swim in Windermere in the Lake District of England.  This led to the Chillswim Coniston - 5.25 miles End to End and a restart of the historic Windermere Cross Lake Swim. He has a position as Open Water Swimming consultant for both FINA and London Marathon to develop mass participation events.

Colin helped make spending a weekend going open water swimming into a trendy activity - even becoming "cool".  Colin is also an accomplished marathon swimmer with a 10 hours 30 minute English Channel and a two-way crossing of Lake Windermere.

Read More About Colin Hill
The Pittmans, USA
Honor Contributor

For 45 years The Pittmans served as key pilots for Catalina Channel swims.  Mickey Pittman's first Catalina swimmer was David Cox in September 1972 (solo swimmer number 27) with the original "OUTRIDER".  John, at age 13 assisted on the swim.   

The 1970s saw 25 solos and no relays with the Pittmans piloting many of these swimmers including IMSHOF honorees:  Lynne Cox, John York, Penny Lee Dean and David Yudovin.
John received his Captain's license in 1978 and began piloting with "WILD WAVE".  Catalina Channel swimming started to really take off in the mid 1980s and Micky continued for 15 more years before retiring in the late 1990s.
John christened the new "OUTRIDER" in late 2006 and piloted 17 swimmers in 2007. During  the years 2011 to 2015 he escorted 30+ swimmers a year.  In his final year, 2016, John had 44 days of swimming booked.
The Pittmans were involved in many "first" solos and relay swims - helping to set the groundwork for the future Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association:  Anacapa, Santa Cruz, Santa Rosa, Santa Barbara. San Clemente and Coronado Islands.
2016 marks the end of an era - Mickey passed away, and it's John's final year as a pilot.
Ricardo Ratto , BRA
Honor Contributor

Ricardo Ratto stands out as one of the most experienced open water swim organizers, officials and coaches/managers in South America. 

As an organiser, he sets the safety program and overall courses for some of the largest open water swims in the world including all the major swims in Copacabana Beach and other locations in Brazil - some with more than 4,000 entrants.  Ricardo coordinated Open Water Swimming for the Brazilian Swimming Federation from 1995 to 2006.

As a Fina Open Water Swimming Certified Official since 1999 he worked many events. In the role of International Technical Official:  Olympics London 2012; Fina World Championships  Fukuoka 2001, Montreal 2005, Melbourne 2007 and Rome 2009 plus Fina OWS World Championships Seville 2008, Roberval 2010 and Setúbal 2012.   In the role of Fina Referee for the Fina 10k Marathon Swimming World Cup:  Rio de Janeiro, 1998; Brasília, 2001/2/3; Belém do Pará, BRA, 2006 and Santos, 2008/9/10

Richardo has coached and managed since 1996 in key roles.   Brazilian Coach in Fina Grand Prix races:  Hernandarias to Paraná 2011, Capri to Nápoli 2011/12,  Sabac 2011 and Ohrid 2011.  Ricardo is also a marathon swimmer with the Mar Grande to Salvador Crossing in Bahia State 15km.

Learn More About the Gibraltar Strait Organization
Gibraltar Strait Org., ESP
Honor Contributor

The  Asociación Cruce A Nado Del Estrecho De Gibraltar  (Strait of Gibraltar Swimming Association) of Spain started on 7 July 1999.  Before this only 61 swimmers:  56 solos and 5 round trips (without wetsuits) completed the crossing.   The Association helped promote the safe swim and compiled a record on their website: ACNEG.com

Swimmers responded in great numbers to the Association's offering and at the end of 2016 the record of crossings grew to 569 solos and 9 round trips.  Marathon swimming loves a "Strait".  The most famous and most popular being "The Strait of Gibraltar".  Spanning two continents with: "the Rock", the Atlas mountains, the full Atlantic Ocean as well as the opening to the Mediterranean.

The shortest distance is from Punta Oliveros (Spain) to Punta Cires (Morocco) with a total distance of 14.4km. More than 80 years of swimming have shown that the strong currents best support attempts from Tarifa to Punta Cires 16.5km (and depending on speed and conditions - landing further along the coast - up to 22km).

IMSHOF inductees have been active with Mercedes Gleitze as the first swimmer in 1928 and three completing the round trip: Maria Louisa Cabañeros Sanchez de Leon, Gustavo Oriozabala and Penny Palfrey.  

Irving Davids/Captain Roger W. Wheeler
 Memorial Award
Richard Broer, NED

The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) will recognize Richard Broer, for his extensive contributions to the administration of open water swimming with the 2017 Irving Davids/Captain Roger W. Wheeler Memorial Award.  

The Irving Davids/Captain Roger W. Wheeler Memorial Award is presented annually by International Swimming Hall of Fame to the organization or individual who has contributed the most to the administration of open water swimming.

Learn more about Richard Broer
2017 ISHOF Poseidon Award
Steven Muñatones, USA

The International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) will recognize Steven Muñatones as the 2017 recipient of the Poseidon Award. 

The Poseidon Award is presented annually by ISHOF for high level achievement from personal effort or initiative in a field of endeavor that contributes to the performance of marathon swimmers or to the development and status of Marathon Swimming to the world.

Steven Munatones has been a consistent and profoundly influential athlete and contributor in marathon swimming for over 40 years - as a pioneering solo marathoner, professional racer, coach, administrator, organizer, writer, founder, and thought-leader.
In addition to racing on the World Professional Marathon Swimming Federation circuit for two years, Steven completed four first ever, solo epic marathons in Japan: Lake Biwa (42km), Tsugaru Channel two-way (39km), around Yonaguni Island (29km), and the Ishigaki/Iriomote Channel (38km).
Steven's subsequent contributions to global awareness and interest in marathon swimming are unique and unparalleled. His prodigious coverage through the Daily News of Open Water Swimming has consistently exposed the 1 milers, triathletes and now ice swimmers to marathon swimming events, exploits and heroes.  He popularized and marketed the "Triple Crown" branding which has and continues to drive hundreds of goal driven marathoners.  Steven invented the "Oceans Seven" branding to provide yet another goal and hugely boost the popularity of the lesser known swims.
He was honored by the International Swimming Hall of Fame with the Irving Davids/Captain Roger W. Wheeler Memorial Award in 2011 and as an Honor Swimmer in the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame (IMSHOF) in 2002 where he also contributed in three key areas since 2010.  

As the unofficial historian, he created the first IMSHOF web site and openwaterpedia with incredible biographies of honorees and others.  Steven moved the Induction Ceremonies from low key lunches to glittering evening galas.   Together, these have given the IMSHOF a presence and relevance that continues to grow.
For his singular contributions to the global promotion and development of marathon swimming in the internet age, Steven has been awarded the 2017 Poseidon Award. 

2016 In Memorium
Dr. Harry Briggs, USA.
Honor Swimmer, 1997

Nicknamed the "paddling professor", he had three major first ever swims:  Corsica to Sardinia in 1955; Lake Erie in 35 hours 55 minutes, and 58 km (36 miles) across Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire, USA.  He completed 43 
marathon swims.  At the age of 76, he swam 16 km (10 miles) across Lake Sunapee and he was still taking on the open water swims  well into his 90s.
Robert Cossette, CAN. 
Honor Swimmer, 2004

The first person to swim the 37 km (23 miles) Saguenay River decent.    He swam Lac St. John 8 times, crossed the English Channel, and many other races despite having one leg crippled by polio.  After retiring, Robert organised events and raised a daughter, Christine, who likewise was inducted into the IMSHOF.

Cynthia Nicholas, CAN. 
Honor Swimmer, 1978 & ISHOF 2005 

At age sixteen, the fastest swimmer to cross  Lake Ontario. She had 19 crossings of the  English Channel; two speed records, and five two-way crossings, (the first woman to complete a two-way). Cyntha brought a sparkling glamour to our sport, touched the lives of many, and passed away far too young.

Conrad Wennerberg, USA.
Honor Administrator, 1977

He dedicated his life to the sport:  a marathon swimmer and coached two inductees.     Conrad made a massive contribution to the IMSHOF through his research which can be read in book, "Wind, Waves and Sunburn: A Brief History of Marathon Swimming." 
Our sport is poorer with their passing.
IMSHOF | ned.denison@corkopenwater.com | www.imshof.org